**This post is from 2010, so some times may be different. Check the links for the latest information**
Having a new baby is a big adjustment. I have two little darlings of my own, and welcoming them into our family threw me for a loop – temporarily, anyway. It also left me wanting to find other new parents, who could relate to what was going on in my life. Like most moms I had a full year of maternity leave, and I wanted to get out with my babies and enjoy it. I found some baby groups and activities that helped me to do that.
Today I’m just sharing a few of the options for new parents here in the V3H. If you know of any great activities, playgroups or drop-ins that I haven’t listed, please mention them in the comments. Other new parents craving social interaction can benefit from your experience.
These free drop-in programs offer songs, rhymes and stories, as well as discussion of early literacy skills and a chance to meet other parents. The age range is from 0-17 months in Port Coquitlam and Port Moody, and 0-24 months in Coquitlam. Here are current dates at times:
Port Moody Public Library
Classes take place in the Storytelling Circle, and are cancelled on statutory holidays. For more information call 604.469.4577.
Coquitlam Public Library
Mondays, 11-11:30am at the City Centre Branch
Thursdays, 11-11:30am at the City Centre Branch
Thursdays, 10-10:30am at the Poirier Branch
Thursdays, 11-11:30am at the Poirier Branch
The Winter sessions of babytime end the first week of March. For more information call the Poirier Children’s Department at 604.937.4142, or the City Centre Children’s Department at 604.927.3561.
Terry Fox Library
Babytime (0-17 months)
Tuesdays, 10:15-10:40am, ending March 2
Thursdays, 10:15-10:40am, beginning on March 18
Free registration required. For more information, or to register, call 604.927.7999.
Runners and Booties Fitness
Local mom Lara started Runners and Booties when her own son was a baby himself. Now she offers her extremely popular Shop ‘n Stroll classes free through local malls. She also offers Salsa Babies, a Latin dance class for moms with babies in a sling or a carrier. I personally enjoyed Salsa Babies so much that I took it 3 times in a row, you should see my cha-cha-cha now. For more info on any Runners and Booties classes call 778.285.6265.
Jungle Gym Time
Seven days a week, at various times of day, the Port Moody Recreation Centre offers drop-in Jungle Gym Time for babies and toddlers aged 0-5 years. This open gym allows older babies and toddlers to play and explore on various jungle gym apparatus. Parent participation is mandatory, and fees are $2.50 per child. For more information check out Port Moody’s Happening recreation guide, or call the Rec Centre at 604.469.4556.
Babies and toddlers aged 9 months – 3 years can join in the fun at Coquitlam’s Poirier Community Centre, with gymnastics equipment, toys and other things to keep everyone busy. An instructor will be on hand to suggest skills your child can learn, and parent participation is required. Classes run on Sundays from 10am-12pm, and the drop in fee is $2.50 per session for one child or $4.00 for 2 children (with the same parent). For more information call 604.927.6046.
Children ages 0-6 years are invited to play and enjoy the large space in the Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex’s Mabbett Room. There are paper crafts, puzzles, ride-on toys and much more. There’s coffee on for the adults, too. Parent participation is required. Sessions run from 9:30-11:30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and fees are $4.25 for 2 children, and $2.25 for each extra child. For more information call 604.927.7529.
La Leche League
New moms who have breastfeeding questions find that La Leche League is a valuable resource. Volunteer leaders are available to answer questions and provide support over the telephone 7 days a week. For help anywhere in the Lower Mainland call 604.520.4623. Local moms who need one-on-one support, or who like to meet other breastfeeding moms, are invited to La Leche League Coquitlam’s free monthly meetings at the SHARE Society office at 2615 Clarke Street in Port Moody. Meetings happen the 2nd Thursday of every month, from 9:30-11:30am. Toddlers and older children are welcome, and so are expectant moms who want to get some support before their baby arrives.